I Took a Mental Health Day and I Don’t Regret It

College is stressful. We all know that. Between classes, work, extracurriculars, maintaining relationships, and taking care of our physical health, it can be a lot. This semester, more than others, has been taking its toll. I’m a current junior on track to graduate a semester early next December. I didn’t know I was on this track until August. Just the idea of having to do the whole real-world thing a semester earlier is enough to make my brain melt, but there’s so much more.

I’m not over-loading this semester, but all of my classes are bad classes to be taking together. It wasn’t something I could predict. How was I supposed to know that every class on my schedule was heavy on the coursework the second 7 weeks? I have multiple major assignments due every week until the end of the semester. There are three things due the day after my 21st birthday. It makes me so excited for the year to come.

This week, in particular, hit me extra hard. I barely had time to breathe most of the week between huge assignments, extra meetings, and projects. My anxiety spiked to the point that even drinking a quarter cup of coffee had my entire body shaking and vibrating. I couldn’t sleep. Every time I laid down I just thought about all of the things I would have to do the next day, and it would take me literal hours to put my mind to rest.

So, sleep-deprived and anxious, I skipped three classes this week. I had no regrets. The first class I skipped was a total accident. I merely fell asleep after crying my way through a mental breakdown and woke up after the class was almost over. The other two classes I missed, I missed on purpose because I needed the time to breathe, relax, and do work for other classes.

I emailed my professors each time and told them what was going on—that I was stressed and overwhelmed and I just needed some time to myself so I can keep going. Thankfully, each professor was kind and understanding. I know I’m lucky that at my school, many of the professors understand that the pressure we put ourselves under can easily become too much.

Even if my professors weren’t understanding, I still wouldn’t have felt bad. My mental health affects my physical health and if I don’t take care of it, I won’t be able to keep going. Taking time off is a necessity and I’m finally learning not to feel bad about taking care of myself.